After the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Al Franken should be certified the winner of the 2008 US Senate race in Minnesota, Republican Norm Coleman released a statement conceding the race, and congratulating Franken. Coleman said, “The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result.”
Coleman said, “Ours is a government of laws, not men and women. The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken and I respect its decision and will abide by the result. It’s time for Minnesota to come together under the leaders it has chosen and move forward. I join all Minnesotans in congratulating our newest United States Senator – Al Franken.”
He spoke about the need to focus on the future, “I have never believed that my service is irreplaceable. We have reached the point where further litigation damages the unity of our state, which is also fundamental. In these tough times, we all need to focus on the future. And the future today is we have a new United States Senator.”
The now former senator continued, “I congratulate Al Franken and his victory in this election. He now enjoys the advantage that our Congressional Delegation has over the other 525 people on Capitol Hill: he represents Minnesota. I know the great ideas, the amazing work ethic and the historic ability to come together to get things done in this state will help him greatly, as it has me.”
Some national Republicans were hoping that Coleman would keep fighting, and take his case to the US Supreme Court, but that would have been pointless. Every lower court had ruled against Coleman, so it was extremely unlikely that Supreme Court would rule in his favor. I understand his desire to fight this out, but Norm Coleman did do a disservice to the people of his state, by maintaining the endless challenges. He should have given this up months ago.
The one thing that we can all now be certain of is that Norm Coleman will challenge Al Franken in six years. Franken was able to ride the Obama wave to victory, so it will be interesting to see how he does when he runs on his own. The one benefit in this long delay for Franken is that he has had lots of time to prepare and hit the ground running. I don’t think Franken will be a great senator, but he should be a fine representative for the people of his state.